Thursday, September 9, 2010

Babar the Elephant

Babar the Elephant is a very popular French children's fictional character who first appeared in L'Histoire de Babar by Jean de Brunhoff in 1931, and enjoyed immediate success. English language versions, entitledThe Story of Babar, appeared in 1933 in Britain and the United States. The story is based on a tale that Brunhoff's wife, Cecile, had invented for their children. It tells of a young elephant called Babar who leaves the jungle, visits a big city, and returns to bring the benefits of civilization to his fellow elephants.
Jean de Brunhoff published 6 more stories before his premature death in 1937 at the age of 37. His sonLaurent de Brunhoff was also a talented writer and illustrator and he carried on the series from 1946 withBabar et Le Coquin d'Arthur and many more.
An animated TV series was produced by Nelvana Limited and Clifford Ross Company, and originally ran from January 3, 1989 to June 5, 1991. There were 78 episodes.

Story synopsis

After Babar witnesses the slaughter of his beloved mother, he flees from the jungle and finds his way toParis where he is befriended by the Old Lady. Babar eventually returns to the Elephant realm following the death of the previous King, who had eaten some poisonous mushrooms. Babar is crowned king, marries his 3rd cousin twice removed Celeste, and founds the city of Celesteville. Babar, who likes to wear a bright green suit, introduces a very French form of western civilization to the elephants, and causes them to dress in western attire.

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